Which Jets Rookie Has Impressed the Least Thus Far?
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The New York Jets still have a few rookies on their roster, but they cut a lot of them because they had not been impressive up to this point.
With the Jets' season scheduled to kick off this Sunday, now would be a good time to take a look at five rookies that have made their mark on Gang Green—some positively, others negatively.
Players like Stephen Hill and Quinton Coples have stood out, as expected, but then there are others that simply haven't performed well enough, but still managed to make the final cut.
Let's take a look at five rookies that have made it to the final 53-man roster from the most impressive to the least.
The wide receiver from Georgia Tech has been somewhat a jolt to a group of receivers that haven't really done much.
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There were times when Stephen Hill looked promising, appearing to be a significant contributor to New York.
There were also times when we weren't sure if he'd make it to Week 1.
You may recall that Hill appeared to be a legitimate deep-ball threat during training camp, but he dropped several passes.
With time though, Hill has potential.
During practice, he's opposite of either Darrelle Revis or Antonio Cromartie, and being up against such dominant cornerbacks could benefit the wide receiver in the long run.
In a James Walker article from ESPN.com, Hill had this to say:
"The route running is still coming. I'm not even going to say I'm perfect on it," Hill said. "I'm still working and still learning on it. Revis and Cromartie are actually helping me on it, because they're noticing I do certain things [to tip them off]."
However, Hill has been impressive on the field. He ended the preseason with nine receptions for a total of 106 yards—averaging 11.8 yards per catch.
In the end, Stephen is a rookie and is still learning the ropes.
As time goes on, he'll become more comfortable with the playbook and look spectacular, especially opposite Santonio Holmes in the Jets' offense.
First-round pick Quinton Coples has a high ceiling, evident from this preseason.
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When the New York Jets announced that they would be selecting Quinton Coples in the first round of this year's draft over Melvin Ingram, fans raised eyebrows and began to question the call. However, Coples is looking like a perfect fit under Rex Ryan, and we're getting glimpses of brilliance from the defensive end.
In an article by J.P.Pelzman of NorthJersey.com, we see what head coach Rex Ryan has to say about Coples.
"The thing I think he’ll grow from," Ryan said, "is you think you’re in shape, but there’s something about playing in games. That adrenaline and everything else is going and he got a little winded, but he kept coming. That’s impressive."
While it does worry me that Coples appeared out of breath from time to time, the numbers he put up calmed me a bunch.
Coples finished the preseason tied for the most sacks in the NFL with 4.5.
That is an incredible feat for any player, let alone a rookie.
Linebacker Demario Davis looks to impact the Jets in a positive way.
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Demario Davis missed the first few practices due to an ailing hamstring, but was impressive when he returned.
During practice, the linebacker wouldn't take plays off, and this translated into success on the field during the preseason. He was even accused of running too hard.
Davis was rewarded with playing time, as he saw the field in multiple defensive packages.
The guy has massive potential, and he's been compared to the Baltimore Ravens' Ray Lewis. If Davis can replicate Lewis on the field, the Jets have found someone special that could possibly carry the linebacking crew for years to come.
Pairing Demario with Aaron Maybin seems to be a recipe for the destruction of opposing quarterbacks.
Josh Bush was one of the rookies that made New York's final cuts.
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Here's where things begin to appear discouraging.
Safety Josh Bush didn't look bad when New York called upon him to replace the injured Yeremiah Bell in the third preseason game for Jets, but that was about all.
As pointed out by Bleacher Report's own RC Cos, Gang Green is showing tremendous faith in the safety by releasing Tracy Wilson.
Hopefully the Jets and Rex Ryan see something in the rookie that I don't because cutting ties with a veteran can, and sometimes will, come back to bite you in the rear.
While I have nothing bad to say about Josh Bush, I also don't have anything good to say about him either. Sure he broke up a few plays in that game against Carolina, but other than that what can be said about the safety?
Go ahead...I'll wait.
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And the least impressive rookie this preseason was—Damon Harrison.
Damon Harrison was awarded the third defensive tackle job—he beat out veteran tackle Martin Tevaseu.
However, Harrison didn't show me anything spectacular during the preseason; he simply beat out someone that performed poorer than he did.
As the tackle, your job is to clog up holes and prevent the running back from coming up the middle. If it's a pass play, then the tackle must break through and get the QB to scramble outside into the defensive ends' arms.
Harrison couldn't do that too well—he was just too slow, which could be blamed on his bad knees—but regardless, his performance was disappointing all the way up until the final week of the preseason.
The defensive tackle had one good preseason game, but before the game against the Philadelphia Eagles, Harrison was just an undrafted name on the roster with two tackles. One good game won't spark your career; it's the consistency that will leave an organization impressed.
The Jets have two established tackles listed ahead of Harrison—Sione Po'uha and Kenrick Ellis—so it's hard for me to believe that he'll see too much field time, not to mention that Harrison has had four knee injuries in the past which contribute to his lazy style of play.
Harrison just doesn't have the explosive step that Po'uha has, nor do we see the fire in his eyes as we do with Ellis. Even the DT knows that he might not make it to Week 1 if he continues to fail expectations.
In an article on NJ.com from Mike Vorkunov, the tackle had this to say:
“I’m not going to say I made it, I know I haven’t, but I’m just fighting that human impulse to relax,” he said today. “I just tell myself everyday, ‘You about to get cut.’ That keeps me working hard.”
Working hard is a great start to impressing the fans of New York, but having that translate to success for the Jets is what we really want, and you can't be too sure that Harrison can impress under that kind of pressure.